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How to Become an FAA Designated AME

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Frequently Asked Questions about being an Aviation Medical Examiner

What are the FAA training requirements to become an AME?

AMEs are specifically trained and designated by the FAA to give aeromedical physical exams and certification to civilian pilots and air traffic controllers. FlightPhysical.com often gets requests from physicians who want to become AMEs. FAA Order 8520.2E, describes the Aviation Medical Examiner System. This guideline lays out the policies and procedures for the designation of Aeromedical Examiners (AMEs). As a requirement, an AME applicant must first complete a 4 1/2-day Basic AME Seminar. The Basic AME seminars are conducted four times a year at the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The training seminar has the following objectives:

  • recognize the importance of the AME's role in the overall goal of achieving aviation safety,
  • develop a clear understanding and recognize the importance of the medical certification process and the AME's responsibilities in that process,
  • learn the airman medical certification standards and FAA policies and regulations,
  • review the latest medical and technical information and clinical examination techniques in the various medical specialty fields that an AME will need to use to assure that airmen meet the medical certification standards for the class of airman medical certificate applied for,
  • recognize the basis for disqualification of the airman with a medical problem and the conditions necessitating deferral or denial as outlined in the Federal Aviation Regulations, and
  • understand, and be able to explain to an airman, the denial process to include steps necessary for certification appeal rights.

The Aeromedical Education Division of CAMI has designated the Basic AME Seminar as a continuing medical education (CME) activity that is valid for 32.5 credit hours in Category I of the Physician's Recognition Award from the American Medical Association. The FAA does not charge a fee for attending the Basic AME Seminar. However, applicants must pay all personal expenses (travel, accommodations, and meals) associated with their training.

AME with Pilot

A Guide for Prospective FAA Aviation Medical Examiners
Medical certification of U.S. airmen officially began with the Air Commerce Act of 1926, mandating that all pilots be medically qualified to fly. Disqualifying for any class of medical certificate were conditions that could cause sudden incapacitation or death, or could otherwise compromise aviation safety.

Aviation Medical Examiner Frequently Asked Questions

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